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Yolisha Umswenko

In this week’s Vega Collab Session, Yolisha Motha gives us a taste of how she lives her poison. From Umswenko to Aboghata, yolisha, and Durbs, keeps it real.

Casio, Gucci and All That’s Boujee:

Fake this, fake that, it’s whatever man. That is the attitude most fashion street vendors have when it comes to catering fashionable goods that people want!

 “Give the people what they want, whether they think it’s fake or not they still want it”, said Mvelo.

I love my city. I love that my city can get me the cheapest pairs of Nike shoes and a Casio watch for under 1K, living the life of Umswenko for real. Mvelo, a popular fashion street vendor gloated with a big smile that he has more than 100 shoppers in one week, “they’re all different, as much as they’re all seeking to wear the same brands but, they all wear it differently and that’s what you call umswenko”.

Umswenko is a kasi term for “dress to impress”. Whether you’re rich, poor, thin or thick the Durban city fashion vendors have umswenko ready for you.



Aboghata (The Police):

Whi whi! ND 567 993 please pull up after the robots.

The sound of the Metro Police van and the cop announcing to the whole entire city makes your heart cringe and for me, tears to well up and sting the living daylights out of my eyes.

Full uniform, worn with pride and tinge of cockiness. As he approaches my car assessing it from my worn out tires, he’s book is ready to sign my life away with an expensive ticket I cannot even afford. My goodness, I can’t even afford a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

He’s not here yet, I whisper under my breath, look for a 100 and you’ll be sorted.


Good day, license and registration please?


Poker face Yolisa. “Uhm I forgot it at home sir, I’m sorry”, I quivered. He doesn’t respond, instead he strolls around my car, slowly assessing its roadworthiness. Then he was back to me, “where are your other papers that will speak for you”. The R100, where’s the R100? I shuffle through all the rubbish in my car, I misplaced the stupid R100. Oh there it is!

“Here sir”, I hand the R100 over to him. I’ve paid for my lawful sins and all it took was R100 I was going to use for petrol for the next two days. Actually, aboghata don’t even phase many Durbanites anymore, if you’ve broken the law and you’re broke then you’re a hopeless case.

Other than that a roadblock is a banking opportunity for aboghata.

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